Remembering Jack Lord

Kalakaua Dynasty


Pictured left to right from top: Queen Kapiʻolani, King Kalākaua,

Princess Likelike, Queen Liliʻuokalani, Princess Kaʻiulani, and Prince Leleiohoku.

To hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, to know the unknowable – that is Aloha.

~ Queen Lili’uokalani


The Hawaii’s Daughters Guild of California posted on Facebook the following information about steps King David Kalakaua took to ensure the succession of the Hawaiian monarchy. The Guild were kind enough to give me permission to share it here. It's fascinating! Take the time to read it. It tells so much about the succession, actual and planned, after the last of the Kamehamehas.

Po’aha History Lesson

The Kalākaua Dynasty was the reigning family of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi between the assumption of King David Kalākaua to the throne on February 12, 1874, through the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1893. When the queen died in 1917, only cousins were left as heirs. The House of Kalākaua was descended from chiefs on the island of Kauaʻi and ascended to the royal throne by election when the males of the House of Kamehameha died out.

The dynasty was founded by Kalākaua; included, were his brothers and sisters who were children of High Chiefess Analea Keohokālole and High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaʻakea. Through Kapaʻakea's paternal grandmother, he was great-great-grandson of Chief Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku, the great-grandfather of Kamehameha I. Through Kapaʻakea's paternal grandfather Kepoʻokalani, he was descended from one of the nīʻaupiʻo royal twins Kameʻeiamoku. Many of their ancestors were collateral cousins of King Kamehameha I.

At the time of Kamehameha V's death in 1872 the male line of Kamehameha had gone extinct leaving Lunalilo and Kalākaua the only male relatives of the Kamehameha Dynasty. Lunalilo who had a higher bloodline was victorious in the 1873 election. But by 1874 after Lunalilo's death, Kalākaua was the closest male relative to Kamehameha, since the only remaining Kamehamehas were Ruth Keʻelikōlani and Bernice Pauahi Bishop and the only remaining descendants of Kamehameha's brothers, Emma Rooke, Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau and Theresa Owana Laʻanui were all female.

King Kalākaua was frustrated by royal elections of 1873 and 1874 and wanted to avoid them in the future. He first appointed his youngest brother Prince Leleiohoku, as his successor but he died in 1877. Kalākaua then appointed several heirs, in order to avoid royal election: He elevated several members of Hawaiian nobility to titles of Prince and Princess, and decreed an order of succession that comprised several royals. His first heir was his elder sister, then princess Liliʻuokalani, their sister princess Likelike, her daughter princess Kaʻiulani, then their cousin princess Kuhio Kinoike Kekaulike (governor of Kauaʻi), and her three sons, all royal highnesses.